60 Action Verbs for Resumes and How to use Action Verbs - with examples


25 Jul 2023

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Why are we writing this article?

In today's competitive job market, crafting a compelling resume that stands out from the crowd is essential. As a job seeker, you want your resume to grab the attention of hiring managers and showcase your qualifications effectively. One powerful way to achieve this is by incorporating action verbs into your resume.

Action verbs, also known as power verbs or strong verbs, add depth and impact to your resume, helping you to present your accomplishments and skills in a dynamic and engaging manner. In this article, we will explore the importance of using action verbs in resumes and how they can significantly enhance your chances of securing that dream job.

You might wonder, what exactly are action verbs, and why do they matter? How can they transform a standard resume into a compelling and persuasive document? We will address all these questions and more, providing you with actionable tips and examples to elevate your resume to the next level.

Whether you are a recent graduate embarking on your first job search or an experienced professional looking to advance your career, mastering the art of using action verbs in your resume can make a world of difference. Join us as we delve into this crucial aspect of resume writing, empowering you to create a standout resume that leaves a lasting impression on recruiters and opens doors to exciting opportunities.

Let's dive in and discover how to harness the power of action verbs to showcase your achievements, skills, and potential in a way that captures the attention of employers and sets you apart in the job market. Your dream career awaits, and with the right action verbs, you can make it a reality.

What will you learn in this article

1. Action verbs breathe life into your resume: By replacing generic and passive language with strong action verbs, you can infuse your resume with energy and excitement, captivating employers and showcasing your accomplishments effectively.

2. Tailor your verbs to showcase achievements: Using action verbs to describe your achievements helps employers envision your contributions and impact within previous roles. Craft concise and impactful statements that demonstrate your value and potential as a candidate.

3. Stand out from the competition: In a sea of resumes, incorporating action verbs sets you apart and leaves a lasting impression on recruiters. By communicating your abilities with confidence and vigor, you increase your chances of securing interviews and landing your desired job.

When it comes to crafting a compelling resume, using the right language is crucial. Action verbs play a pivotal role in showcasing your achievements, skills, and potential to prospective employers. These dynamic words not only make your resume more engaging but also help hiring managers quickly grasp your impact and contributions in your previous roles. In this article, we will explore the power of action verbs and provide a comprehensive list of impactful words to help you create a standout resume that captures the attention of recruiters and elevates your professional narrative.

1. Why Action Verbs Matter in Resumes

Action verbs are the driving force behind a persuasive resume. They breathe life into your accomplishments, making them more vivid and compelling. Unlike passive language, which can be mundane and lackluster, action verbs convey a sense of energy, enthusiasm, and initiative. By choosing the right action verbs, you can demonstrate your proactiveness, leadership abilities, and ability to drive results.

Employers are more likely to remember candidates who use powerful language to express their skills and accomplishments.

Let's delve deeper into why action verbs matter in resumes, and how they can make a significant difference in showcasing your accomplishments. Here are examples of a good and bad use of action verbs:

Good Example

Action verbs breathe life into your resume, making it more engaging and impactful. They bring clarity and vividness to your achievements, leaving a lasting impression on recruiters.

For instance, instead of using a passive phrase like "Responsible for managing a team," you can use an action verb like "Led a team of 10 members," which immediately conveys your leadership skills and proactive approach. Strong action verbs demonstrate your proactiveness, initiative, and ability to drive results, making it easier for employers to visualize your potential contributions to their organization.

Bad Example

Using weak or passive language in your resume can make it sound dull and unimpressive. Passive phrases like "Was involved in projects" or "Was responsible for tasks" lack specificity and fail to showcase your impact.

These vague statements do not provide any insight into your achievements or how you added value to your previous roles.

Hiring managers may not fully grasp your contributions, and your resume may not stand out from the competition. Without action verbs, your resume might read like a list of job duties, missing the opportunity to highlight your skills and accomplishments effectively.

In summary, incorporating action verbs in your resume is essential for making a strong impact on potential employers. By using dynamic language, you can elevate your accomplishments and demonstrate your proactive approach to work. Action verbs help you stand out from other applicants and create a compelling narrative that leaves a positive impression. Avoiding passive language ensures that your resume is engaging, memorable, and effectively showcases your unique qualifications and achievements. With the right action verbs, you can make your resume a powerful tool in landing your dream job.

good vs bad example of action verbs

2. Showcasing Achievements with Impactful Verbs

The key to creating a powerful resume is to focus on accomplishments rather than just listing job duties. Action verbs can elevate your achievements, transforming simple tasks into compelling success stories. Use words like "achieved," "exceeded," "innovated," "optimized," and "initiated" to highlight your contributions and showcase how you made a positive difference in your previous roles. By emphasizing your achievements, you can demonstrate your value as a potential asset to the hiring company.

Showcasing achievements with impactful verbs is a crucial aspect of crafting a compelling resume that stands out to potential employers. Using powerful action verbs not only makes your resume more engaging but also highlights your accomplishments and contributions. Here's a more detailed explanation:

1. Research the company, role and your interviewer

One of the most effective ways to boost your confidence in an interview is by conducting thorough research. Take the time to learn about the company's background, values, and recent achievements. Familiarize yourself with the role you're applying for, including the key responsibilities and requirements.

Additionally, if you know the name of your interviewer beforehand, research their professional background and any common interests you may share. Being well-informed about the company and your potential role not only demonstrates your enthusiasm but also helps you tailor your responses to align with their needs and goals.

Showcasing Achievements with Impactful Verbs:

Emphasize Results

Impactful verbs help you articulate your achievements in a way that emphasizes results. Rather than merely listing job duties, use verbs like "achieved," "increased," "generated," or "delivered" to demonstrate the tangible outcomes of your work. For example, "Increased sales by 20% within the first quarter" conveys a clear result and showcases your ability to drive success.

Quantify Accomplishments

Pairing impactful verbs with quantifiable data makes your achievements more convincing and impressive. Employ verbs like "optimized," "reduced," "boosted," or "streamlined" alongside specific metrics. For instance, "Streamlined inventory management, reducing costs by 15% annually."

Convey Leadership and Initiative

Using strong action verbs can showcase your leadership skills and proactive approach to work. Words like "initiated," "mentored," "led," or "innovated" demonstrate your ability to take charge and make a positive impact within the organization.

Demonstrate Problem-Solving Skills

Employ impactful verbs that highlight your adaptability and flexibility in different situations. Words like "adapted," "revamped," "transitioned," or "integrated" showcase your ability to thrive in various environments and handle change effectively.

Illustrate Collaboration

Many roles require teamwork and collaboration. Use verbs like "collaborated," "facilitated," "negotiated," or "mediated" to showcase your ability to work effectively with others and achieve collective goals.

By incorporating impactful verbs, you can create a resume that captivates employers and communicates your accomplishments with clarity and enthusiasm. These verbs help paint a vivid picture of your capabilities and potential contributions, setting you apart as a standout candidate for the job. Always remember to tailor your verbs to the specific achievements and skills relevant to each position you apply for.

If you haven't read the article we wrote on "How to create your resume", we highlighly recommend that you read since it touches on all aspects of a resume in the moderen era.

3. Tailoring Action Verbs to Your Industry

Different industries have unique terminology and expectations. It's essential to tailor your action verbs to align with the specific requirements of your target industry.

For example, words like "developed," "analyzed," and "implemented" may resonate well in a tech-related resume, while "mentored," "collaborated," and "negotiated" might be more suitable for a candidate seeking a leadership role. Research industry-specific keywords and incorporate them strategically to demonstrate your suitability for the desired position.

4. Avoiding generic verbs

While action verbs are powerful tools, it's equally crucial to avoid using generic and overused words that can dilute the impact of your resume. Words like "did," "worked," and "helped" lack specificity and fail to convey the scope of your achievements. Instead, opt for more precise and compelling verbs that demonstrate your initiative and expertise. Be concise and choose action verbs that pack a punch, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

Avoiding generic verbs is essential to crafting a resume that stands out and leaves a lasting impression on potential employers. Using specific and impactful action verbs instead of generic ones helps to paint a vivid picture of your accomplishments and abilities. Here's a more detailed explanation:

Steer Clear of Overused Words: Generic verbs like "managed," "handled," "worked," or "responsible for" are commonly used in resumes and can make your achievements sound ordinary and lackluster. Avoid these overused terms and opt for more dynamic and descriptive action verbs that better showcase your skills and accomplishments.

Use Action Verbs Tailored to Your Field: Different industries and professions have unique sets of skills and accomplishments. Tailor your action verbs to match the requirements of your specific field. For example, if you're in project management, use verbs like "orchestrated," "coordinated," or "implemented."

Highlight Transferable Skills: If you are transitioning to a new industry or career, focus on transferable skills and accomplishments. Instead of using generic verbs that may not align with your new path, identify relevant action verbs that demonstrate your ability to adapt and apply your skills in different contexts.

Showcase Leadership and Initiative: Generic verbs can often downplay your leadership abilities. If you've led projects, teams, or initiatives, use verbs like "guided," "mentored," "directed," or "initiated" to convey your leadership prowess.

Quantify and Qualify Achievements: Avoid generic verbs that leave the scope of your achievements vague. Incorporate specific numbers, percentages, or other metrics to quantify and qualify your accomplishments. For instance, instead of "contributed to revenue growth," say "increased quarterly revenue by 15% through strategic sales initiatives."

By avoiding generic verbs and focusing on specific, descriptive, and tailored action words, your resume becomes more engaging, memorable, and impactful. A well-crafted resume with powerful verbs will help you stand out in a competitive job market and better demonstrate how your skills and achievements align with the needs of prospective employers.

5. Formatting Your Resume for Maximum Impact

Using action verbs is only one aspect of creating an effective resume. Formatting and organizing your document are equally important. Ensure your resume is clear, well-structured, and visually appealing. Use bullet points and bold fonts to draw attention to your accomplishments and make your resume easy to skim. By combining strong action verbs with an impressive format, you can create a resume that captivates and entices potential employers.

How to use action verbs on resume

When you are on a job hunt, having a crisp resume is the foremost thing. Its no secret that these days resumes are scanned through an automatic systems, and is not manually scanned by HR. You may have already heard of Automatic Tracking System that companies use these days to scan resumes. To get your resumes in the hands of recruiters it needs to first pass the smell test of ATS.

1. Identify Your Strengths:

The important question is how to pass the smell test of ATS. One of the most important tips to have a standout resume is to lead with Action words.

Action verbs are verbs that represent action. They are also called as power verbs. Action verbs are used to represent skills, experiences and accomplishments. They help communicate your contributions confidently. It takes away the mundane activities and turns the dull accomplishments into exciting contributions.

60 Action Verbs to use in your resumes

# Action Verb
1 Acquired
2 Advised
3 Aligned
4 Architected
5 Audited
6 Automated
7 Boosted
8 Brainstormed
9 Briefed
10 Calculated
11 Coded
12 Collaborated
13 Computed
14 Converted
15 Coordinated
16 Customized
17 Delegated
18 Deployed
19 Derived
20 Devised
21 Diagnosed
22 Directed
23 Documented
24 Drafted
25 Empowered
26 Engineered
27 Evaluated
28 Facilitated
29 Gained
30 Illustrated
31 Infuenced
32 Installed
33 Instructed
34 Integrated
35 Launched
36 Led
37 Lowered
38 Maintained
39 Managed
40 Mentored
41 Networked
42 Optimized
43 Orchestrated
44 Organized
45 Presented
46 Programmed
47 Published
48 Reduced
49 Secured
50 Spearheaded
51 Strategized
52 Streamlined
53 Strengthened
54 Supervised
55 Tested
56 Trained
57 Transitioned
58 Transformed
59 Troubleshoot
60 Upgraded

How to pick the right action verb for resumes?

Picking the right action verbs for your resume is crucial in effectively showcasing your skills, achievements, and contributions. Here are some tips to ensure you choose the most impactful action verbs:

Review Job Descriptions: Carefully read the job descriptions of the roles you are applying for. Pay attention to the specific skills and responsibilities mentioned in the descriptions. Use action verbs that align with these requirements to demonstrate your suitability for the position.

Use Power Words: Look for power words and action verbs that are commonly associated with your field or industry. These words are more likely to catch the attention of hiring managers and convey your expertise.

Quantify Achievements: Focus on achievements that can be quantified with numbers, percentages, or other metrics. Then, select action verbs that emphasize the impact of your accomplishments. For example, "increased sales by 30%," "reduced production costs by 20%," etc.

Use Online Resources: There are several online resources that provide lists of action verbs for resumes. Look for industry-specific lists and examples to help you find the most suitable verbs for your field

Be Specific and Descriptive: Avoid generic verbs and choose words that precisely describe your actions and contributions. Think about the specific tasks you performed, the challenges you faced, and the outcomes you achieved.

Showcase Skills and Attributes: Use action verbs that highlight your key skills and attributes. For instance, if you want to demonstrate your leadership abilities, use verbs like "mentored," "guided," or "led."

Consult Thesaurus: A thesaurus can be a valuable tool to discover synonyms and variations of action verbs. It can provide alternatives that may better suit your achievements and add variety to your language.

Tailor to Each Application: Customize your action verbs for each job application. Emphasize the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific position you're applying for.

Ask for Feedback: Seek feedback from mentors, colleagues, or friends who have experience in your industry. They can provide valuable insights on whether your selected action verbs effectively showcase your qualifications.

Be Honest and Clear: Choose action verbs that accurately represent your experiences and abilities. Be honest in your descriptions, as exaggerating or using irrelevant action verbs can backfire during interviews.

By combining these strategies, you can confidently select the right action verbs for your resume and create a compelling narrative that resonates with potential employers. Remember that a well-crafted resume with impactful action verbs can significantly improve your chances of landing interviews and securing your desired job opportunities.


Your resume is your chance to shine and make a lasting impression on recruiters and hiring managers. By harnessing the power of action verbs, you can elevate your resume from a list of tasks to a compelling narrative of your achievements and potential. Remember to tailor your action verbs to your industry and avoid generic language to stand out from the competition. With the right words and a well-crafted resume, you can confidently showcase your abilities, experience, and impact, positioning yourself as the ideal candidate for your dream job. So, seize this opportunity to showcase your talents and let your accomplishments speak for themselves with the magic of action verbs in your resume.

Ever wondered how to include hobbies and interests on your resume?

Including hobbies and interests on your resume can help you stand out from the competition and provide valuable insights into your personality, skills, and potential cultural fit within a company.

50 Hobbies and Interests for Resume

There is a special article we wrote on how to include hobbies and interests on resume for everyone. We highlighly recommend that you read since it has about 100 examples of hobbies and intersts.

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Nanda Ponnambalam

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